Magnesium deficiency was found to be associated with increased prevalence and risk in 11 major health conditions. In 68 of the reviewed studies, magnesium deficiency was found to predict adverse events, and a decreased risk of pathology was noted when supplementation or treatment was instituted.
- There has been a gradual decline of dietary magnesium in the United States, from a high of 500 mg/day at the turn of the century to barely 175–225 mg/day today.
- The National Academy of Sciences has determined that most American men obtain about 80 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) and women average only 70 percent.
- Most magnesium researchers ﬁnd that the RDA is inadequate to prevent magnesium deﬁciency, making the above statistics of even more concern.
Magnesium deficiency is involved in all of the following conditions and functions:
- Anxiety and panic attacks: Magnesium normally helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control.
- Asthma: Both histamine production and bronchial spasms increase with magnesium deﬁciency.
- Blood clots: Magnesium has an important role to play in preventing blood clots and keeping the blood thin—without any side effects.
- Bowel disease: Magnesium deﬁciency slows down the bowel, causing constipation, which could lead to toxicity and malabsorption of nutrients as well as colitis.
- Cystitis: Bladder spasms are worsened by magnesium deﬁciency.
- Depression: Serotonin, which elevates mood, is dependent on magnesium. A magnesium-deﬁcient brain is also more susceptible to allergens, foreign substances that in rare instances can cause symptoms similar to mental illness.
- Detoxiﬁcation: Magnesium is crucial for the removal of toxic substances and heavy metals such as aluminum and lead from the body.
- Diabetes: Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, facilitating sugar metabolism. Without magnesium, insulin is not able to transfer glucose into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage.
- Fatigue: Magnesium-deﬁcient patients commonly experience fatigue because dozens of enzyme systems are underfunctioning. An early symptom of magnesium deﬁciency is fatigue.
- Heart disease: Magnesium deﬁciency is common in people with heart disease. Magnesium is administered in hospitals for acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmia. Like any other muscle, the heart requires magnesium. Magnesium is also used to treat angina, or chest pain.
- Hypertension: With insufﬁcient magnesium, blood vessels may go into spasm and cholesterol may rise, both of which lead to blood pressure problems.
- Hypoglycemia: Magnesium keeps insulin under control; without magnesium, episodes of low blood sugar can result.
- Insomnia: Sleep-regulating melatonin production is disturbed without sufﬁcient magnesium.
- Kidney disease: Magnesium deﬁciency contributes to atherosclerotic kidney failure. Magnesium deﬁciency creates abnormal lipid levels and worsening blood sugar control in kidney transplant patients.
- Migraine: Serotonin balance is magnesium-dependent. Deﬁciency of serotonin can result in migraine headaches and depression.
- Musculoskeletal conditions: Fibrositis, ﬁbromyalgia, muscle spasms, eye twitches, cramps, and chronic neck and back pain may be caused by magnesium deﬁciency and can be relieved with magnesium supplements.
- Nerve problems: Magnesium alleviates peripheral nerve disturbances throughout the body, such as headaches, muscle contractions, gastrointestinal spasms, and calf, foot, and toe cramps. It is also used in treating the central nervous system symptoms of vertigo and confusion.
- Obstetrical and Gynecological problems: Magnesium helps prevent premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea (cramping pain during menses), is important in the treatment of infertility, and alleviates premature contractions, preeclampsia, and eclampsia in pregnancy. Intravenous magnesium is given in obstetrical wards for pregnancy-induced hypertension and to lessen the risk of cerebral palsy and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Magnesium should be a required supplement for pregnant women.
- Osteoporosis: Use of calcium with vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption without a balancing amount of magnesium causes further magnesium deﬁciency, which triggers a cascade of events leading to bone loss.
- Raynaud’s Syndrome: Magnesium helps relax the spastic blood vessels that cause pain and numbness of the ﬁngers.
- Tooth decay: Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorus and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.
*Ismail Y, Ismail AA, Ismail AA. The underestimated problem of using serum magnesium measurements to exclude magnesium deficiency in adults; a health warning is needed for “normal” results. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2010;48(3):323-327.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.